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Tower Hamlets sees second highest hike in London councils paying staff £100k+

PUBLISHED: 06:30 11 April 2017

A TaxPayers Alliance study shows there were 11 council staff earning over £100k during the 2014-2015 financial year, but the number rose to 18 during 2015-2016. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/PA Images.

A TaxPayers Alliance study shows there were 11 council staff earning over £100k during the 2014-2015 financial year, but the number rose to 18 during 2015-2016. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/PA Images.

PA Wire/PA Images

Tower Hamlets Council has the second highest increase in the number of employees earning over £100,000, according to a report out today.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance study shows there were 11 council staff earning over £100k during the 2014-2015 financial year, but the figures rose to 18 during 2015-2016.

The highest remuneration went to the head of education who scooped £233,637 followed by the director of development and renewal who netted £159,417. The names of the post-holders were not reported.

Chief executive Will Tuckley - who joined the council in October 2015 - received £99,951 over six months in renumeration with the head of paid service Stephen Halsey seeing a £78,000 drop from £186,333 two years ago to £108,252 last year.

The Town Hall Rich List report’s release comes after councillors voted through a 5 per cent council tax increase to meet the costs of social care and £75m worth of cuts in February.

A Tower Hamlets spokesman said: “Providing first class public services alongside value for money is a key priority for the council.

“The period of time covered by these figures does include times where a number of roles were filled on an interim basis as the council reorganised the senior management team. The amounts listed will also include one off payments made as part of redundancy packages.

“However, given the size and scope of our organisation, and how our services have such a direct impact on the lives of many thousands of residents and local organisations, the level of pay for our staff at all levels does seeks to represent a fair pay that reflects the often complex and changing nature of our work.”

The total remuneration figures include salary, benefits, expenses, bonuses, redundancy payments and employer’s pension contributions.

In London the council with the biggest rise was Southwark where 45 staff earned £100,000 or more while Kingston-upon-Thames’s chief executive Bruce McDonald received the largest remuneration package of £387,000.

Chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance John O’Connell said: “The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last twenty years and spending has gone through the roof.

“Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.

“Many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages. The sheer scale of these packages raises serious questions about efficiency and priorities,” he said.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the average weekly pay before tax for full time employees in 2016 was £539 resulting in a gross average salary of £28,028.

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